Species: Azadirachta indica
General: Neem, also known as Indian Lilac, is native to India. Today the tree is grown in tropical and semi-tropical climates. The evergreen tree's fruits and seeds are used to make neem oil. Neem oil has a bitter taste, and a garlic-like smell. Leaves are also bitter in taste.
Other uses: National Research Council called neem "a tree for solving global problems" in a report published in 1992, and it is often referred to as the most valuable tree in India. The tender shoots and flowers of the neem tree are eaten as a vegetable in India. In Ayurvedic medicine, neem has many uses and benefits. Neem oil is used in the preparation of toothpaste. In India, the Middle East, and Africa, thin twigs from the neem tree are chewed to clean teeth and tongue. Neem oil is often used as a natural pesticide in organic gardening.